Inlaws are smokers

Laura - posted on 11/15/2009 ( 37 moms have responded )

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DH wants to visit his father and step mother for the weekend. In the past they will limit their smoking to the back room but now that 5month old DD will be coming along that just isn't good enough for me. I would love to have the visit --Just minus all the smoking. How should I handle this?

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Amanda - posted on 11/19/2009

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WOW. That is a tough one. It is their home, BUT it is YOUR BABY. If they smoke in the house it probably reaks like rotten smoke in their home, which isn't good to breathe in and even if they smoke in the back room the smoke goes throught the air vents to the rest of the house. If they live a distance away I would rent a hotel room and sleep there not in their house. If they live close I would ask them to come to your home and visit. You really don't want to expose your child to smoke or to a smoking home at 5 months old. Babies can get ear infections and all kinds of other stuff from smoke. Let your hubby go alone if you don't want your baby around it.

Patricia - posted on 11/18/2009

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Both my husband and I are non-smokers while most of my family smoke. After coming home time after time, we literally stripped down to nothing and took showers when returning home. I pulled my family aside and told them that my husband and I (and my 6 year old daughter) can not be around smoking (1st, 2nd, or 3rd hand). I also have Ashma and it was setting off attacks. My family now makes a concious effort to smoke outside when we visit. At our home, we set up a small area OUTSIDE our home for smoking and everyone has been respectful and using the outside area. Just have a heart to heart. If they do not go with the flow, they will miss out on some very good company.

Melissa - posted on 11/17/2009

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Having a smoking section in a restaurant or home is like having a peeing section in a pool. It makes no sense! I will probably get angry responses to this by people that smoke but this is my personal opinion. It was a personal choice between me and my husband to keep our children away from people that smoke as soon as I learned that even if you smoke outside you still can harm your children because the toxins that are in the smoke still get on your clothes, skin, and hair. I think it was called third hand smoke. To not affect children you would have to take a shower and brush your teeth after every cigarette. If they smoke in their home then the house is full of toxins as well. These are your children and if they don't care enough about the health of your children then they shouldn't be around them. I know this might not be the help you were looking for but I figured I would share information that I learned about this topic. I was a smoker and quit cold turkey as soon as I found out I could still hurt my children even though I smoked outside. Maybe it could help others to stop smoking as well!

Myra - posted on 11/15/2009

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If you are going to their home, you have no choice but to either put up with it, or don't go. I am a smoker myself, and only smoke outside because I don't want my daughter around it or my house smelling like cigarettes. But in their home, they don't have to accommodate you for their habit. I understand why you want your 5 mo old kept from the smoke - and anyone should be able to understand that - smoker or non-smoker, but if them being willing to limit it to just one room isn't "good enough" (which is better than a lot of people I know would do), don't go.

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Nicole - posted on 11/20/2009

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if they want to see the kids, they should be willing to not do it during the visit.. outside and that's it..

Caitlin - posted on 11/20/2009

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Smoking is a heavy addiction, it'd be near impossible for my family to not smoke entirely for a day... but outside vs the back room is in my opinion a good compromise.

Don't be hesitant to speak up. I'm a non-confrontational person (a people-pleaser to a fault) but when I had my son I started voicing myself finally. It's never rude to do what's best for your baby. Again, I highly recommend you throw around the idea of them smoking outside.

Since it's not your dad & step-mom, maybe it'd be easier to talk about it over the phone with them or have DH call and talk about it?

Just my two cents, hope I helped!
-Caitlin.

User - posted on 11/20/2009

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2nd hand smoking is worse then smoking itself. I am a smoker, a OUTSIDE smoker. If they can't respect you and your baby to just smoke outside till you leave then I wouldn't go. Babies health is more important.

Selina - posted on 11/20/2009

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when we visited my brother in law with our daugher we said that we would only stay at his house if he smoked outside..... he agreed and there was no problems what so ever.... Yes it is their house but it's your childs health so they should accept that.. Good luck...x

Teresa - posted on 11/19/2009

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He is your child and it is your decision. I would just tell them the truth-the baby is too young to be exposed to that much cigarette smoke for that period of time and ask them to go outside. If they really love the grandchild and want to have him there-they will do it.

Iris - posted on 11/19/2009

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Well just ask them nicely not to smoke around the baby. Or smoke in another room with the window open..

Michelle - posted on 11/18/2009

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Be honest with them. And maybe stay home. It's there house, but your child to protect.

Julie - posted on 11/18/2009

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My in-laws used to smoke indoors too. I'm not one for confrontaion, so if they lit up around my kids, I'd gather them up and sit outside. It's their house, they are going to do what they want. I would also open every window in the back room and just say how nasty it was inside. Eventually they quit smoking inside and added air purifiers to every room.

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It is THEIR home, but it is YOUR child! It is your job to protect her/him from things like that. My husband's father smokes so we don't take our daughter over there. Even if he was willing (which I'm sure he wouldn't be) to smoke outside, the smoke and chemicals are still on everything in their house and 3rd hand smoke is still dangerous! When they come over here, which isn't often, they have to wash their hands and if he holds her we put a blanket over her and she always gets a bath when they leave. You shouldn't feel bad...this is your child we're talking about and it is your decision! If they don't like it than they don't need to see him/her!

Ashley - posted on 11/18/2009

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i really dont see what you can do its thier home and they can whatever they want in thierr own home if you dont like it then you and the children wont visit and they can visit your home and follow your rules but they dont have to stop smoking in thier own home because its harmful to you and your children in less they choose to, because they dont have to invite you into thier home and you can stay home will dad and kids go over thier

Marcella - posted on 11/18/2009

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I have in-laws that smoke too. At first they did not smoke when we came for a visit. At least while we were in the house. However, my son developed pneumonia 3 times in 8 months time. The doctor asked if we smoked in the house. We didn't however, we know it was from visiting the in-laws. What I did since my husband is the dutiful son, was I asked them to kindly not smoke within 20 minutes of our arrival, not while we were there and if they had to have the nicotine to smoke outside and then air out. If they want to hold the kids, (we've had 2 more since then), I give them a blanket to wear over their clothes then they can hold the baby. This way the child isn't smelling the smoke on their clothes. If they do not abide by my rules then I will pick up the kids and leave. I have actually done this once with my mother-in-law and once for the uncle's house. Once they knew I was serious about the situation they respected my wishes. I would suggest that you talk with them about your concerns for the kid's health and that you would respectfully ask them to limit their smoking to outside if you stay at their house while you are there. My in-laws did respect my wishes and have been doing so for the last 10 years. My youngest is 7mths and they still abide by the no smoking around the kids rule. We just visited them for dinner, the house does have the smoke smell so we ate outside on the patio for dinner. I live in Tucson, AZ where the weather is like 60 at night so it was nice for us. They kids played in the grassy backyard and played tag. It was the most pleasant dinner experience at their house in the 12 years my husband and I have been together. Good Luck to you!

Christina - posted on 11/18/2009

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Well thats a hard situation. I am sooo against smoking that I will not even go to my family's house. They can come here because it is my house and if I say no smoking there will not be. But with that said, my "dad" hasn't seen my son but one time. And that was only on accident when we ran into each other. My son is more important than anyone. I lost my mother and three other family members to cancer due to smoking so I am not shy, I will walk out of anywhere if someone is smoking and I have my son... I am an ex-smoker, quit long before I got pregnant. Even when I did smoke I would not do it with children around. I do believe you have a right to tell ppl you would appreciate if they not smoke around your child, please go outside. But they also have the right to not listen because it's there house. If they still want to smoke, you can invite them to stay with you because then it's your say. Good luck!

Kirsty - posted on 11/18/2009

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im a smoker myself and i smoke outside, i have kids and i dont want them to breath in my smoke, im in the process of quitting, i have been asked many times to make sure i smoke outside when i visit friends and i have no problems with this, my grandparents smoke inside and i have asked them when i visit them or when they visit me to simply keep it outside they respect my wishes, i feel rude asking them to smoke outside when its their own place but they understand that i dont want my kids playing in their smoke. as hard as it is just ask them. good luck

Alicia - posted on 11/17/2009

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i am not a smoker...but i can tell u that even though they go outside to smoke they are still gonna bring the smell and stuff back in the house with them..it is on there clothes and body so if they do go outside to smoke they need to change there clothes and wash up...

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i would say you cant really insist on them not smoking in their own house, you could ask for them to outside, but other than that, stay somewhere else or suck it up for the weekend, or dont go, just send hubby..

Jane - posted on 11/17/2009

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tell him to have a nice weekend and send him on his way.

second hand smoke is too dangerous for anyone but especially little lungs. if they can't smoke outside for 3 days, then what's the point of you and your son going?

Leslie - posted on 11/17/2009

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My husband and I both smoke in our home. when my sister comes to visit we stop smoking in the house two days in advance and have air purifiers. This was our choice, but my nephew has asthma and if i want him to stay and visit then I must consider his well being. Just ask them politely and if they still smoke in the house leave. Let them know you won't be bringing the baby there if they can't respect your wishes and the well being of their grand child.

Ashley - posted on 11/17/2009

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Tell them. My husband's parents smoke, and did in the house. We told them that if they smoke in the house, we will not come over. They are more than welcome to come to our house, but I told them that I am not comfortable with my son being exposed to all that smoke. Not to mention even though they smoke outside I hate having my son stink like smoke when we get home.
It might be hard, but they should respect your wishes, after all, it is for your child's safety and health. It would be horrible if your daughter developed asthma from all the smoke. My dad has asthma because his parents smoked in the house.
Don't worry hon, it might hurt their feelings, but they need to know that it is not ok. If they pull the whole "it's my house" thing, then tell them they may come to your house to visit.
Good luck! :)

Wendy - posted on 11/17/2009

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My hubby smokes (which I really do not like) but only outdoors. His mother and step father, and father and step mother all smoke as well. At his moms home, they smoke indoors, and because I am disgusted so much by this, visits to her house are very limited and we never stay long. And while we are there I imposed a strict no smoking inside rule - if someone lights up inside, I pack up our son and we leave, no ifs ands or buts. And we bring a bottle of hand sanatizer everywhere, for hubby, and others who want to smoke, and then handle our son. At his Dads home, they don't smoke indoors, but still must wash or sanatize their hands after every smoke, and preferably wear a sweater or coat that can be removed once they are inside. I don't care what they think when I give them rules, but I am worried about my baby and if they don't care enough about him to listen, they are the ones who won't get to see him.

Christi - posted on 11/16/2009

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i am extremely allergic to tobacco and any second hand smoke and when my son was born, we didn't want to take any chances. my father and his wife smoke but they do it outside AND wash their hands before they come anywhere near my son. now we take it a step farther and they actually change clothes so that the smell will no harm me or my son. but be very firm on them smoking OUTSIDE AND WASHING THEIR HANDS before they come anywhere near your baby. if they are unwilling to comprimse, then maybe the visit needs to be put off until they can realize that the health of your baby is more important than their nasty ass habit.

TaraLynn - posted on 11/15/2009

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channel your inner b*tch. i grew up in a smoking household and realized one day that i couldn't SMELL smoke?!?! how weird is that? prolly not healthy. my kids are all preemies and both my parents still smoke and so do my inlaws. they call me the smoke nazi...no smoking in ANY household while my children are present or we will leave. if they aren't important enough to them to step outside,then it rilly shouldn't bother them when we leave! :) believe me, it will start an all out fight, but they get the hint after a time or two and eventually cooperated except my mom, whom we no longer visit.

Brandy - posted on 11/15/2009

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My fiance smokes, but not in the house and I used to smoke until I got pregnant with our first and quit. When we go to my parent's house, they smoke outside or in their ensuite bathroom with the window open and the door shut, which I accept because it is a very large, open house and would take alot for the smoke to travel out of there through the bathroom door and the bedroom door and downstairs to the livingroom. When we go to my fiance's parents' houses, I expect the same and I make that clear. I even stood outside of my father in law's house with my daughter and told him if he wanted to visit, he could come outside because he knew we were coming and continued to smoke in his house anyways. My opinion of smoking around children is that we should know better by now. It was acceptable when our parent's did it because the dangers weren't really known back then but now we know and we need to change our ways. If I were you, I would call personally and tell them you are excited to come for a visit, but can't help but worry about this and ask if they would be so nice as to go outside or in their bedroom with the door shut while you are there with the baby. If they agree, thank them and tell them that you really appreciate them changing the way they live for a couple days for you guys to come visit. If they disagree, tell them you are just not comfortable exposing your baby to all the poisons and suggest that maybe they could come visit you in your smoke free home one day.

Lori - posted on 11/15/2009

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My sister's in-laws are smokers. Their youngest son has a one year old and ever since he was born they have taken to smoking outside, even in their own house. When I went with my sister to visit with my 5 month old son, they made sure to tell me they don't smoke inside. One Thanksgiving they came to the house my sisters and I shared they kept it outside. I think the best way to handle it is to ask them politely to keep it outside and if they don't, then I think tell them as nicely as possible that if they won't keep it outside, then maybe they should not visit. Your child's health is the most important thing. I hope your family understands and will work with you.

Brandi - posted on 11/15/2009

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my family and my husband's family are ALL smokers. When I first got pregnant with my daughter I INSISTED that there be NO smoking around me or my baby after she was born and they have all been very willing to oblige. When I go to their homes with my kids, they smoke outside and when they come to my home, they have ALWAYS smoked outside as my husband and I do not smoke. I'm not sure how you could bring it up, now though since you have always allowed it in the past. I think, too that part of the reason that my families were so supportive of my wishes was that I lost a baby before I got pregnant with my daughter and knew how scared I was, but they didn't smoke when I first found out about the baby I lost either. I think if they care about you and your kids they will respect your wishes to attempt to limit the cancer-causing stuff in their lives. Good luck with that. And Kelly, I CANNOT believe that your inlaws behaved that way. That is ridiculous.

Jackie - posted on 11/15/2009

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I'm not really sure what you are expecting as an answer here. You can't ask them to do anything its their home. You have complained the whole house smells of smoke which means it doesn't matter if they smoke outside while you guys are there you will still have a complaint.



Your only choice is to stay home or stay in a hotel and have them visit you in the hotel. I don't visit peoples homes who smoke inside because my son has ear issues. I can't ask them to smoke outside and the damage is already done to the home. Its not just second hand smoke that is harmful. Its the chemicals in the fabrics and everything around the house.



I myself am a smoker and I smoke outside. But that is my home and I make sure everyone smokes outside. But I can't expect anyone else to do that in their own homes for me. My option is either suck it up or don't go.

Christine - posted on 11/15/2009

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I would nicely ask them if they would smoke in the garage or outside..they should take into consideration thats its for your babies health. If its only a visit, it shouldnt be a big deal.

Stephanie - posted on 11/15/2009

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My Inlaws in TN smoke...like veryone...no one household is smoke free so when my daughter was born 6 months ago my husband decided not to visit... our child well being is more important then socializing... if they want to see her they can always visit us and their is a seperate bedroom... but if they really want us to come visit then they can smoke outside for the day if not then forget them.... I wouldnt even let them go over if it was their fathers house if I was divorced and he smoked in the house but my husband smokes now and he knows its not good so he goes either in the garage or outside. I would tell them how you feel... if they dont get the picutre i would say no kids... you can always tell the court that they smoke in the house and thats why you wont let them go over there if they throw a fit... the courts will back you.

Caryn - posted on 11/15/2009

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I would just simply ask them to keep it outside. If they care for your daughter they will be respectful of your worries :)

[deleted account]

I would definitelysit down and have a talk with them and explain how you feel. Hopefully you can all come to some compromise. Maybe suggest they keep their smoking outside or in the garage?? I understand it's probably a tricky situation. If they are stubborn, maybe suggest that the visit be somewhere outdoors like a park...I know this isn't what they'd like but your kids health is very important and I'm sure they'll understand and hopefully be movtivated to put more effort into keeping their smoking away from the kids. Good luck!!

Chelle - posted on 11/15/2009

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my partner smokes but he only does it outside. even if its windy/raining he has to stay out side if he wants to smoke. im pregnant and my daughter is 6 months so i dont want smoke in my house.

my dad and mum smoke. when i go there for dinner they smoke in another room with the the windows open.

Laura - posted on 11/15/2009

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Quoting Kelly:

Good luck with this! I never had any luck when my father-in-law was alive, with this situation. He and his wife would come visit us (not very often) for a few hours, and the first things they did, was go in the fridge to make room for their beer, and go in my cabinets to look for something to use as an ashtray. Not kidding, drove me INSANE! My hubby was a wonderful son, would never say anything negative to his dad, so that is what we had to put up with. Of course they only came like once a year, or not that often, and they only lived a half hour away, but still....the only thing I can suggest, is can you stay in a hotel, and maybe if they smoke in the back room you won't really be around it and it will be ok?


Really broke so no chance of a hotel. The back room is not separated by any doors and the whole house reaks of smoke anyhow. So I'm feeling like the back room limitation doesn't really help. I'm just not sure if I'm willing to impose this kind of exposure on DD at this age.

Kelly - posted on 11/15/2009

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Good luck with this! I never had any luck when my father-in-law was alive, with this situation. He and his wife would come visit us (not very often) for a few hours, and the first things they did, was go in the fridge to make room for their beer, and go in my cabinets to look for something to use as an ashtray. Not kidding, drove me INSANE! My hubby was a wonderful son, would never say anything negative to his dad, so that is what we had to put up with. Of course they only came like once a year, or not that often, and they only lived a half hour away, but still....the only thing I can suggest, is can you stay in a hotel, and maybe if they smoke in the back room you won't really be around it and it will be ok?

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